how do you make an acuator? - RC Groups
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Sep 26, 2012, 11:35 PM
Team Heads up RC
microairman1's Avatar

how do you make an acuator?

i have a small scratchbuilt balsa and tissue citabra i made and want to do throttle ,elevator and rudder but dont know how to make an acuator any help would be great. ps yes i know about plantraco but dont have that kinda money for this i am trying to use stuff i have. thanks
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Sep 27, 2012, 04:37 AM
Pilot, Co-pilot, Navagator
nemoskull's Avatar

these will help. twin pins that fit sockets on the deltang series of actuators rx's and the plantraco. also the smallest connector you can practicaly use. (i tried, the 1mm, but just too small for me to solder. )
Sep 27, 2012, 10:16 PM
Registered User
Probably your biggest hurdle in making your own actuators lies in finding the right wire.

Typically, actuators use a very fine diameter wire, such as 42, 44 or 46 gage. The choice of enameled or thermoset needs to be considered, also. You just can't walk into WalMart, or Target, or Radio Shack and get this stuff. The number of wire suppliers who deal in quantities we need are few and far between.

Second, winding an actuator coil requires a spool or bobbin. These you will have to fabricate on your own.

Third, you need some sort of fixture to wind the coil. Then, there is the counting of the number of turns, or measuring the coil resistance to determine when to stop winding. You also have to consider the inner and outer diameters and the thickness of the coil. These dimensions are not trivial, since they all factor in determining the strength of the actuator.

I recommend that you go to the top of this forum and look through the Sticky:

"Micro Thread Index (the best place to start) "

There are numerous articles on coil/actuator making therein.
Sep 28, 2012, 08:24 AM
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nemoskull's Avatar
my setup is a 7.4 volt source, running a worm gear to spur gear that winds real slow. using the 42 (46?) gauge wire, i get 10 ohms per second. pretty slick, but it only works cuz the voltage is the same. its best to start off hand feeding the wire. wire on spool, spool on floor, use hands to guide it.

also, at 42 gauge, the wire is hair thin, and a little weaker than human hair. also, dont have rough hands, it dont help.

the other half of this is the magnet you use and how you mount it. i like hinge acts, were the coil is in the stab, and the magnet is in the rudder. you need the least friction possible. that usualy means two, 3mm stirps of tape for the hinges. it has to line up perfectly.

go for the N50 neo magnets. N35 are will work, but the N50 are better. i had to use two 3mmx1mm n35 magnets, but then later used a single 3mmx2mm N52 from austraila bought via ebay. world of difference.

a small coil and N52 1mm by 1mm would rock, but i have only seen them at high prices (.20 each) stuff this smal you want to buy triple what you need, you tend to breath too hard and stuff goes flying.
Sep 28, 2012, 12:38 PM
derk's Avatar
Here is a winder I made a while back
I use wire from a wall power timer or from battery powered clock. I hear relays are another good source.
Oct 01, 2012, 06:19 AM
Rusty Nail's Avatar
I am not a frequenter of this forum, but are you all aware of how cheap these are to buy?
Oct 06, 2012, 07:21 PM
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nemoskull's Avatar
Yes. Just don't buy only the coil. I did and they are not usable. That solder pad are there for a good reason. Shipping to Arizona takes just over thirty days.
Oct 07, 2012, 07:26 PM
derk's Avatar
okay, lets do a price comparison, they want $2 for a single coil. sure thats cheaper than any micro store selling name brand items, but a wall timer cost me about $4 and from that coil, i can make probably 8-10 coils, so 40 to 50 cents each. magnets are cheap if bought in larger numbers than 1-10, so it still remains under $1 a piece and no shipping and waiting for a month for them to arrive. also they can be made around a specific magnet size so you can get a better torque output, something the bid product ones dont do.
Oct 08, 2012, 07:48 PM
Pilot, Co-pilot, Navagator
nemoskull's Avatar
on the flip side, its an easy cheap way to get an actuator, one that may actually work!

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